Newsletter April 2013

 New independent doctor for METc applications

Since Harm-Jan Pot has retired, the iLab has a new independent doctor: Marrit de Boer. We would like to thank Harm-Jan for the time and efforts he invested in the iLab. We are very happy that Marrit agreed to be our new independent doctor for our iLab studies. Marrit’s CV and contact information are available on the internal iLab-website. All METc roadmap documents have been changed accordingly. However, the procedure stays the same: Marrit can be mentioned in your METc application as independent doctor. After your METc protocol has been approved you inform Marrit and send her your study protocol so she is fully informed in case a participant of your study is contacting her with questions about your study.


iLab-meeting March 7th 2013

Our third iLab-meeting was a success! Attendance was high and reactions were enthusiastic. Sonja Ockenburg presented an overview on the different ways to collect cortisol on a daily basis (in saliva, blood, nails and hair). Pros and cons of the different methods were given. Although collecting cortisol on a daily basis is expensive and labor-intensive, it provides very useful information. Karin Janssens presented about missing data in time series analyses. Although multiple imputation is more reliable than EM imputation, EM imputation is more convenient for time series analyses. Both presentations can be found online. The next iLab-meeting will be this autumn. Please let us know which topic you would like to discuss in the next meeting.

Smartphone vs Psymate

Jolien Wibbens and Anthea van Wees are two Applied Psychology students. They conducted a study in which they compared the usefulness of the new developed smartphone App versus the ‘golden standard’PsyMate method for filling out electronic questionnaires in the UPPER study. More details about the study use can be found in the two bachelor theses and a powerpoint presentation on the internal iLab website.

In short, researchers had strong preference for the smartphone, because it was much more convenient to prepare the questionnaires, the possibility to online track the data collection and, if needed, to remind a participant to fill out a questionnaire wit and automatically send sms. The 26 smartphone users did not differ from the 20 PsyMate users in their experience on: how much work, fun, difficult or confronting they believed it was to fill out the questionnaires. Also the number of questionnaires  the participants missed to fill out was studied. The total number of missed questionnaires was comparable for both methods. However, smartphone users encountered significantly more technical problems than Psymate users, and this was also the main reason for missingness. Technical problems of the smartphone were: empty battery, no Wifi or internet connection, not having received a sms reminder, no access to the questionnaire (website), answers were not displayed outside their smartphone display, or smartphone malfunctioning. In collaboration with the iLab, the Roqua department is currently considering to solve part of these problems, for example, by developing a so called native App which makes it possible to fill out the questionnaires offline.


External website

The external website of the iLab has been updated. Brief summaries of research projects, a list of iLab researchers, and iLab publications have been added. If you have additional information for the website, you can contact us.



We regularly hear that a smartphone or tablet App is used or developed for data acquisition of an iLab study. To gain more insight in the kind of Apps that are currently used but also the kind of Apps researchers would like to use we ask you to inform us. A new function on the iLab site has become available to share information on  Apps. Information on Apps can be found and added to the directory Variables & apss, in the instrument sheet Apps. Please provide information of all the Apps you have been using or are currently using in your studies. Preferable also attach background information and if available personal experiences with the App. If you are aware of an App that may be useful to the iLab or you would like to suggest the development you can add this as well. . It is also important to know if you have tried an App that is not useful, so this information can also be added.


Some reminders..

  • A conference about ambulant measuring will be held in Amsterdam (June 20-June 23 2013).
  • Google Docs has changed into Google Drive, so the folder with iLab information can now be found in Google Drive.
  • Google apps does not support Internet Explorer, so it is more convenient to use another browser (e.g. Google Chrome) when using the internal website.
  • Suggestions for the topic of our next iLab meeting(s) are more than welcome.
  • Sonja Ockenburg informed us about a website on which information is given on within-subject and between-subject CV values, and other specifications for imprecision, bias and total error of a wide range of frequently used metabolites (www.westgard.com/biodatabase1.htm).


Thanks for reading this iLab Newsletter. We would like to wish you all a good succession and Queen’s day. The next iLab Newsletter will appear in the summer of 2013.